The Gift of Laughter

“Laughter is an instant vacation.”
– Milton Berle

Such a fleeting, yet hugely rewarding, gift is laughter. It cannot be forced. It cannot be coaxed into being. It comes only when a moment is real – really real. Sure, there are times when we can obtain laughter through entertaining television shows, movies, or comedians. But, the true gift of laughter comes only when something happens or something is said that stops time because of its ridiculousness.

As I reflect on times when I have been the recipient of the true gift of laughter, I cannot help but actually feel the hilarity of the uncontrollable release that ensued. For that moment, I can think of nothing else. I feel in my heart the connection of silliness that I shared with another. I feel in my belly an emerging giggle just from the passing of the memory. I feel in my soul the sense of escape that was gifted to me however long ago the moment was. Even in its fleetingness, laughter is a gift that keeps on giving.

Recently, I sat in a restaurant with a friend, chatting about life, work, husbands, politics, and just about everything else two middle-aged gals can talk about. At one point, something my friend said meaning one thing, traveled through my brain meaning something else. What it meant in my mind was absolutely ridiculous – and that is what she saw by the look it painted on my face. The realization of what she really meant hit me right around the same time the realization of the double meaning of her words hit her. Immediately, we became a pair of laughing hyenas. Eyes watered, bellows of laughter rang throughout the restaurant. We caused such a scene that we might as well have been rolling on the floor next to our table. This went on for a good five minutes or so, until we finally relaxed into a silly glow of joy. Exhausted as if we had just run a marathon, we regained our composure and giggled daintily some more before finally exiting the restaurant and going our separate ways. But as I drove home that afternoon, and as I write these words now, the gift of laughter continued and continues to envelope my heart and energize my soul. That afternoon, and today as I remember it, God truly did gift us with an “instant vacation.” Fleeting as it was, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.


  1. I love this reading. It happened to me yesterday with my friend as we were driving the long trip home from Maine. We laughed until tears rolled down our eyes. Thanks for the memory and the reminder.

    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can truly relate to this experience you had in the restaurant, Jessica. I’ve had a few like that in my life and the result
    is so refreshing and calming. Thank you for sharing.
    Love, Mary H.

    Liked by 1 person

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